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A Politician Decides To Be Awful To A Woman Who Wants Him To Learn Facts. Then He Gets Xenophobic.

Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who have lived here most of their lives, decided to ask Congressman Steve King a pretty thoughtful question. He didn't handle it too well. At 58 seconds in, he gets pretty condescending, physically grabs her hand, shows them little respect, and refuses to listen. It goes downhill from there, despite Erika and Cesar's calm discussion of the issues.

A Politician Decides To Be Awful To A Woman Who Wants Him To Learn Facts. Then He Gets Xenophobic.

The card Erika is referring to is her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) card. It's a card for folks who arrived here before their 16th birthday, before 2007, who graduated from high school or served in the military and haven't committed any crimes. Essentially they are kids who grew up here, want to contribute to society, want a legal path to citizenship or green card status, and want to know where they stand in the American immigration system.

Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa) has a history of saying pretty xenophobic things, like most undocumented immigrants are drug runners. He tends to be uncompromising in his opinion that if you were brought here as a child, you are a lawbreaker who has no intention of following any laws. And anytime anyone calls him on this and explains that if you grew up here not knowing about your status, you should at least have an opportunity to prove your value, he reverts to ignoring everything you say because your parents dared to try to give you a better life.


Imagine if America was the only country you ever knew. As a small child, you make friends, go to school, grow up, go to college, and make a life for yourself. Now imagine there was a guy telling you that everyone like you was a drug smuggling criminal. And he was elected to a federal office. And he was trying to send you to a country you have never lived in. How would you feel?

Erika just wants to contribute to our country. She wants to do the right thing. And most people are too afraid to talk about it because people like Congressman King like to scare the hell out of everyone into thinking that the American dream should be off limits to people from specific places. Which is silly. We are a nation of immigrants, and right now, there's no path for people like Erika to take to gain her citizenship. But if people like you and me keep talking about it, maybe we can finally get to a place where we have a sane path to citizenship that's actually realistic and doable.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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On February 19, 2020, a group of outdoor adventurists took a 25-day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. During the trip, they had no cell service and no contact with the outside world. When they ended they ended their journey on March 14, the man who pulled them ashore asked if they had been in touch with anyone else. When the rafters said no, the man sighed, then launched into an explanation of how the globe had been gripped by the coronavirus pandemic and everything had come to a screeching halt.

The rafters listened with bewilderment as they were told about toilet paper shortages and the NBA season being canceled and everyone being asked to stay at home. One of the river guides, who had done these kinds of off-grid excursions multiple times, said that they'd often joke about coming back to a completely different world—it had just never actually happened before.

The rafters' story was shared in the New York Times last spring, but they're not the only ones to have had such an experience.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less